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After the hubbub of the keynote this morning, we managed to get up close and personal with a BlackBerry Dev Alpha B. That in itself isn’t much to write home about, but what was on the Dev Alpha B that brought home the bacon. Thanks to Head of Software Portfolio at Research in Motion, Vivek Bhardwaj, we managed to get a video of BB10 in action, highlighting in particular the features that were shown off in the keynote a couple of hours ago.
After seeing the demo and playing with the OS briefly, I was quite taken aback at how intuitive BlackBerry Flow and Peek was. It completely made me rethink my approach to smartphones and in all honesty, I was very pleasantly surprised. Sure, I liked it after BlackBerry World, but after actually playing with a working unit, I finally get what the fuss is all about. I get the delays, I get Thorsten’s unwavering faith and the excitement from the carriers and developers. It may look like a few fancy UI elements but if you give it a chance, BlackBerry 10 may just grow on you. Bearing in mind RIM has not shown their complete hand, keeping some features for launch I can’t even begin to imagine what they are working on.
What I’m curious about (and I’m sure I’m not alone) is how the experience will translate to a smaller screen with a QWERTY keyboard. Text and icon scaling aside, will peek be as effective when half your screen is a physical keyboard? I guess we’ll have to wait till Q1 of 2013 to find out!